Fillipponi: AB's Alleged Rift With Big Ben "Choreographed"

Antonio Brown is using Ben Roethlisberger to "parachute" out of Pittsburgh and land a new contract, Andrew Fillipponi says

Zach Gelb
March 04, 2019 - 9:01 am

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As Antonio Brown’s tenure in Pittsburgh draws to a close, the star wide receiver continues to tell his side of the story – and then some. In fact, he stated that he does not “need” football and could walk away from the game right now.

Those statements didn’t exactly boost his trade value, despite his more-than-reasonable contract.

Then again, that could be the underlying issue at the heart of this ongoing soap opera. 

“You could make the case that Antonio Brown is a bargain for the team that trades for him,” Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan host Andrew Fillipponi said on The Zach Gelb Show. “But I think what we’re discovering here is that a lot of the things that Antonio Brown has done here since Week 17, how much of it is a result of the way the Steelers treated him, and how much of it is a selfishness on his part to try to get as much money as possible? Has he come to the realization that he needs to leave Pittsburgh in order to dupe a team or convince a team to tear up this contract and give him a new one? Antonio Brown’s main objective in all of this is to get himself a big, fat contract.”

Brown has zero guaranteed money remaining on the four-year, $68 million contract extension he signed in February 2017. His contract expires after the 2021 season.

This whole saga, Fillipponi believes, is about money – not Ben Roethlisberger’s comments or behavior.

“I think it’s all B.S. I think it’s all bull crap,” Fillipponi said of the alleged rift between AB and Big Ben. “I thought that this was a personal issue, that it was an ego thing between him and Ben, that he didn’t like that Ben had either the license or jurisdiction or privilege to pretty much call guys out and speak his mind. I think that’s a parachute for AB. I think he’s using that as an excuse to try to make it seem like he has a real motive to get out of here. But I don’t think he cares about that stuff.”

Especially given his production. Brown has recorded 100+ catches and 1200+ yards in six straight seasons, during which he has 67 touchdowns. 

“I would say this,” Fillipponi said. “If he’s going to put one over the other, I think the statistics – all the catches, all the yards – are more important to him than what his quarterback says after a game. If the Steelers came to him tonight and said, ‘Let’s let bygones be bygones. If you’re willing to put this thing behind you with Ben, we’ll give you a new contract right now that pays you $19 million a year for the next five years,’ he’d drop the Ben issue in a second.

“I thought at first it was a genuine stare-down or battle between the quarterback and the wide receiver,” Fillipponi continued. “But now I think it’s choreographed. I think he’s saying all this stuff just to try to get himself out of town and get a new contract.”